How productive are you … really (be honest)?
Often entrepreneurs are busy and busyness can easily be mistaken for productivity. The aim of being more productive is to essentially increase “the efficiency in which a company or economy can transform resources into goods, potentially creating more from less. Increased productivity means greater output from the same amount of input.”
The more productive you become, the less overwhelmed you’ll be.
Here’s a look at 7 overlooked productivity hacks that can really help you reign in “the busy” and get more done.
1. Create a task timetable
Procrastination is a tough habit to break. The quickest way to turn your day around is to get organized. You can start by creating a timetable for daily tasks that are fixed (i.e., things you must do each day) and variable (i.e., free form time blocks to address new action items and things you “want” to do).
Task management tools like Asana can help you get a clear view of what to expect for your day ahead and manage a number of moving pieces.
“Don’t mistake movement for achievement. It’s easy to get faked out by being busy. The question is: Busy doing what?” — Jim Rohn
2. Throw in some red and blue
According to a University of British Columbia study on the effect of color, “red is the most effective at enhancing our attention to detail, while blue is best at boosting our ability to think creatively.” Designing your workspace with these two colors in mind is not only pleasing to the eye, but it can boost overall team performance.
3. Employ the (10+2)*5 formula
This a classic and veryefficient hack commonly known as the (10+2)*5 formula. Don’t fret; it’s not at all sophisticated as it seems. “It is a set of procedures that help you get into habit on concentrating a set amount of timeframe on tasks.” This is particularly useful when you allocate a specific time block to knockout a big project.
- Step 1: Set 10 mins to work on a single task.
- Step 2: Give yourself a 2 minute break.
- Step 3: Repeat 5 times on the first and second step.
The trick here is to create a productive hourly work routine along with regular breaks. Eventually, this can help you skip the extended break schedules during the day that tend to make you less productive.
4. Develop a break agenda
Make a list of things you wish to do when on you are on your break. It could include checking social media, getting in a quick burst of exercise, making a quick phone call or getting some fresh air.
Dedicate 15-20 minutes to your scheduled break(s) and at the end of the day you’ll have spent your time wisely and accomplished goals with less distraction. In short, you can complete tasks without getting sidetracked by doing things you like to do.
5. Clear your desk of tech
A Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers’s annual Internet Trends report suggests that people check their phones 150 times a day. The study further states that having your phone just centimeters away enhances this habit. So, if you are tempted to check your smartphone or tablet, keep it on silent and place it in a place that’s out of reach.
Productivity tip: Clear your desk of tech. “People check their phones 150 times a day.”
6. Use the right business apps
There are a number of helpful apps and online cloud-based software that can help make your day more productive. Streamline recurring tasks with the right SaaS products. For example, if you’re currently tracking inventory with Excel, then consider inventory management apps like Zoho to improve inventory control and order management which will help you fulfill orders efficiently with less human error.
7. Change your scenery
If you need to work on a demanding and resource-heavy client project, consider working from your favorite local coffee shop. You may find it hard to locate a comfortable yet productive spot, but steer clear of that comfy sofa or bed as it will likely lure you into a quick nap instead of sparking your next big idea.
This article has been edited and condensed.
Cormac Reynolds works and writes for a variety of marketing and internet blogs. He loves all sorts of different aspects of blogging and also has a big interest in bludgeoning the culinary arts. Connect with @brightoncormac on Twitter.
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